- The Facebook Messenger “unsend” feature is live in a small number of countries and coming soon globally.
- Using Facebook Messenger unsend you can delete a message you sent to someone else within 10 minutes of sending.
- The feature will only work in the Android and iOS app for now.
For almost a year now, Facebook has been working behind the scenes to create a Facebook Messenger “unsend” feature that would allow you to permanently delete messages you’ve sent to others from both your side of the conversation and theirs. The new feature is rolling out now to select countries, via TechCrunch.
Although this unsend feature will be helpful for retracting messages you regret sending, it will not be nearly as powerful as you might expect it to have been.
The biggest limitation with Facebook Messenger unsend is that you only have a 10-minutes-long window to delete your messages. Once that 10 minutes is up, the message is stuck in the conversation permanently.
Another limitation is that you can only delete messages you have sent. This means if you send a message you regret and the person sees and responds to it, you can only delete the original message you pushed. In other words, the person’s response will stick around forever, unless they decide to delete it as well within their own 10-minute window.
Finally, although you’ve deleted the message, Facebook still holds onto it for an unannounced length of time. This policy is to prevent bullies from sending nasty messages, deleting them, and then there being no proof the message was ever sent. Facebook did not disclose how long messages will be stored on the server but did say they will eventually be deleted.
With all that in mind, here’s how the process will work in the Android and iOS app (you’ll have to forgive us for using iPhone images for these examples, as we don’t yet have access to the unsend feature here in the United States):
- First, tap and hold on the message you want to delete to bring up the various options you have for that message.
- Tap the “remove” option to bring up the secondary menu of remove features.
- You’re given three options, which are each pretty self-explanatory: Remove for You, Remove for Everyone, and Cancel.
- Tap the one you like, and that’s that.
When you remove the message, a “tombstone” will be left where the message appeared in the thread. This can’t be removed and each party will see it:
Today, Facebook Messenger unsend is rolling out to Poland, Bolivia, Colombia, and Lithuania. Facebook says the feature will roll out globally soon.
What do you think? Do you see yourself using this feature or is it too limited right now for practical purposes? Let us know what you think in the comments!